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Poster: ganges Date: Nov 20, 2007 7:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: "why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?"

After listening to a magical Shining Star my wife asks "if Jerry (whom she likes a lot, she might not love him as much as I do!) is able to make music like this, why does he have to take heroin?" - and again and again I wonder what to tell her - was it just a habit, or really the addiction, or did he GIVE so much and was he so generous (as former JGB members say in an interview on the Shoreline DVD) that he had to get some energy from a substance, or what else? I'm not talking about acid here or psychedelics, but the hard drugs...Any thouhgts?

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Poster: AshesRising Date: Nov 20, 2007 11:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

ganges: with a heart that big, can you imagine how much pain he felt during his lifetime? Not just personal pain -- but the pain of going through this experience of being human. The depth of his feelings is in his music --- Stella Blue -- think of where he must have pulled some of those jams from.

And then to realize that people were turning him into some sort of guru/deity/god --- though he laughed it off when asked about it in interviews, it just had to tear him apart inside to be put on such a high pedastal created by the people (audience) that he was just trying to serve by playin' his guitar and singin the lyrics to the best of his ability. Selfless service doesn't come easily; it has a heavy price --- that's why so few people choose that path of service. He worked, and worked, and worked, and just kept on working.

While working so hard for all those years he loved the internal places he would go and all the colors he would see through the vehicle of so-called "drugs." It was just natural that he would try heroin... and therein he found a place of comfort -- as well as a "buffer" from the world. He really "knew" only one person in his entire lifetime (Hunter) so when he was out on the road tirelessly sharing the music with the world, he found a friend in heroin. It helps ease the pain of being human.

Yes, it is the most powerful entity out there and carries with it a very heavy price -- just like the heavy price of selfless service. Nothin comes for free --- the incredible thing to realize is that he was such a FORCE that it took many, many years of all sorts of physical abuse before his heart finally broke. Focus on all the thousands of hours of music that he he created -- even while he was doin' heroin. In the end the music is all that matters anyways.

I just hope he is resting in a peaceful place; he earned it.

Peace be with you and your family in the "Black Forest,"
--- AshesRising

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Poster: ganges Date: Nov 20, 2007 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Thanks Ashes, wonderful thoughts, I hope you're well, too, did you receive the e-mail on Nov. 14th?

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Poster: BryanE Date: Nov 20, 2007 8:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

I've been watching a couple of people undergoing methadone treatment to get off of it for the past several weeks, but it's a damned difficult row to hoe. Once someone develops a preference for that stuff, it grabs hold and won't let go. A junkie starts off merely enjoying the effects of the drug, but in little time at all, heroin becomes a necessity and users cannot go through a day without making the choice of either enduring intense physical pain and constant nausea---it's called being "dope sick"---or getting a fix, a euphemism that attained its name because that is exactly what it does for an addict.

Jerry was a remarkably bright and intelligent guy, however his fondness for drugs wasn't too smart.

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Poster: patourkid Date: Nov 20, 2007 8:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Heroin...the bitch, heroins draw comes from the fact that IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD .....at first, then I don't know how to explain it but it switches from making you feel good to terrorizing you. It no longer makes you feel good, when your high it just stave's off the sickness for a bit. You can think of NOTHING but "how am I gonna keep from gettin sick" Your not thinking "I want to go get high" your thinkin damn I just want to quit bein sick. Then when you do kick for a bit the way human beings are programmed we convince ourselves that "it took a long time before I got sick I could just get high today and then I'll take a break for a bit...yeah...right...back to bein sick. heroin steals your ability to cope with life when your strung out your in a cloud its just you and the bitch....come on baby..I'll make you feel good .. its cold out Ill make you warm...its just today.."yeah I deserve to catch a little buzz, hell I've been doin GOOD' been clean for 6-7 days now one little blast wont hurt...thats all thats runnin thru a junkies brain!!! thats IT everything else is just clutter, just you and the bitch!!! It took me watchin my whole family get DESTROYED by the bitch to realize I needed to get away so I ran...where could Jerry run to? He's Jerry F'n Garcia!! Everybody wants to be in with Jerry ..the best way to get close to a junky is with junk. Its that simple, people can claim it was the pressure, the stage fright,whatever...Jerry did dope because at one time it made him feel good. I am really surprised he held it up as good as he did.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 20, 2007 9:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

My little line from West LA was to suggest what you stated - when people are giving junk to a junkie for free, so as to hang out and get high with the guy, it's pretty fucking hard for the junkie to say no. I think Gil expressed it best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPf02m-ikaQ

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Nov 20, 2007 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Lou did not do such a bad job either

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4-WdohdaHw

I guess that I just don't know

P.S. the above version does not use all of the verses... seek out the lyrics for all verses. Pretty powerful lyrics.

This post was modified by jglynn1.2 on 2007-11-20 17:51:14

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Nov 20, 2007 10:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

we should all marvel at the fact the man continued on at such a high functioning level while doing that shit, that in itself is amazing. don't act like jer was the first fuckin junkie in rock n roll either, there is a long line of them.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 20, 2007 10:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

I'm shocked to hear that! Shocked I say....

It's funny (or not), but I recall David Crosby opening New Years at Henry Kaiser (Nevilles/some other band) not longer after he got released from prison and telling people to chill out on the drugs as you only had to look at him as to where that road led. I heard several people claim that his "parole officer" made him say the same.

Of course, David is healthy and still performing.... thanks solely to his parole officer...

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Nov 20, 2007 10:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

True. Saw him in summer '83 and the show was awesome. It was very obvious he was using but he played unbelievably.

Won't be the last either

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Poster: Tito&Smokey Date: Nov 20, 2007 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

He did stop taking Heroin.He died in rehab from withdrawals.He should have just kept taking the smack.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Nov 20, 2007 8:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Actually, he died from heart failure that was blamed not only on his heroin use, but also his long time cigarette addiction, sleep apnea and weight problems.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 20, 2007 8:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Yea, I was under the impression that the sleep apnea was the real culprit - although I'm sure the years of use, lack of exercise, etc. didn't help. I do recall Jerry talking about how Billy had turned him on to diving and he was doing a lot of that after the coma in '86. Too bad he couldn't take some time off for himself as opposed to feeding the monster that became the world's most successful touring act for a period of time....

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Nov 20, 2007 8:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

it's a shame jer got into that shit. whatever was wrong with just coke, pot, psychedelics? it helped him cope with the pressures of being jerry garcia, but at the same time, destroyed jerry garcia. we can't really understand it because we were not him, and we can't know what he was going through. we can think we can, but we can't. who wouldn't enjoy having enormous talent, charisma, fame, money, etc. why would anyone throw that away? i don't know, he did so much living in 53 years, more than any of us can in 80 or 90 years, i'd say he left us with lots to be grateful for.

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Poster: glenn Date: Nov 20, 2007 9:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

"whatever was wrong with just coke, pot, psychedelics"

For that matter, what was wrong with sobriety? Or shooting up blood from a schizophrenic?

Jerry was a smart guy, he made his choices, he gave a lot to the world, and employed hordes of people.

You have choices too. You can choose Starbucks' sweatshop coffee; hormone-and-chemical infused beef; fried chicken-skin nuggets; poisoning the environment with a 1-hour commute or a 6,000-mile avocado; or whatever.

Everyone makes choices, what will people say about YOUR choices after you are gone?

Why didn't America just stop letting corporations manipulate their government?

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Poster: Tito&Smokey Date: Nov 20, 2007 9:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Or you can choose to be a fake vegetarian that tries to protect poor little animals from slaughter.Only problem with that is more vegetarians means more grain,which means more grain combine machines,which means thousands of field mice and bunny rabbits and snakes get horribly mangled in those machines and die a horrendous death.Meat is Murder?No,Wheat is Murder!!!!!!!!!!!

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Poster: glenn Date: Nov 20, 2007 9:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

You missed my point. (I'm not vegetarian, fake or otherwise.)

My point may have been expressed too subtly.

Explicitly stated: every choice has a consequence, and everyone makes their own choices. You can choose to attack someone else's choices, or you can choose to learn from their choices, or even ignore them. It's all up to you.

I choose to appreciate the decades of music Jerry chose to leave behind.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 20, 2007 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

The sad defense put up by the band, even after their intervention was that Jerry was a "maintenance" user. Meaning that after so long, he used the drug simply to function and stave off the sickness that comes with quitting. Among the cast of clowns that enabled his ongoing affair with the Persian was John Kahn, who only lasted a year longer than Jerry. Most people will agree that Garcia's playing with JGB in the final years was superior to that with the Dead, so it's curious that heroin took much of the blame for his increasingly lackluster playing with the Dead.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Nov 20, 2007 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Once you start that stuff, the only real way to stay away is to cut all the folks who are still using it out of your life...completely. This would have been near impossible for our chunky little friend. The constant temptations would have been incredible. I've seen folks close to me struggle with the stuff and quitting permanently is harder than anyone who hasn't been there can ever imagine. Plus I do feel that there is something to the argument that the incessant performing and pressure of being, well, being "Jerry" would have made the illusion of escape provided by the junk yet another overwhelming temptation. That type of pressure was never placed on anyone else in the band. Jerry was always the focal point that everyone looked to. Not too many times did you hear someone say "Yeah, it would have been a much better show, but Mickey just sounded off."

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Nov 20, 2007 8:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey

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Poster: Toadsmoker Date: Nov 20, 2007 10:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Because he loved Petula Clark's version of "Downtown" and stood in line waiting like all the other greats in history to traveling through that door.

*Toadsmoker

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Poster: ganges Date: Nov 20, 2007 10:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

Thanks for responding everybody and all your thoughts.

My question didn't imply the thought that he SHOULD have quit, and that I think that would have been the best for him to do. I accept what he chose and have no problem, I'm a bit sad for him (and us), but what do I know about his inner life, and I'm forever grateful for what he gave to us, still amazed what he could do in the 90s after years of using that stuff, especially with JGB, but there are quite a few gems with the Dead as well for me, even though I'm a 70s person.

When I talk to people about him and what a wonderful musician he was, I'm sorry for everybody who responds with the words "but he was a heroin addict", people did say that to me, but I guess they just didn't get IT, so let's be grateful to be able to appreciate.

Thanks to all, Ganges

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Poster: Toadsmoker Date: Nov 20, 2007 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 'why didn't Jerry stop taking heroin?'

I'll be checking out some Pooh in the Rain looking for a Rainbow, a place to camp and remembering "I CAN ALWAYS GO DOWNTOWN"

Thanks for the memories.